Bora Bora Bungalows at Disney’s Polynesian Resort: Full Review
A Full Review of the Bora Bora Bungalows at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, Walt Disney World
Recently we had an opportunity to stay at one of the most desirable (and most expensive) Deluxe accommodations in all of Walt Disney World: the Bora Bora Bungalows at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort.
These 21 self-contained bungalows are part of the Disney Vacation Club (DVC) collection of Deluxe Villa accommodations, but they are open to non-DVC member guests as well on a cash basis, subject to availability. Be forewarned, however, that these small houses (which are an impressive 1,650 square feet and sleep eight comfortably) do not come cheap. With a cash price ranging from approximately US$2,500 to US$3,000 per night (at the time of writing and depending on time of year) and a DVC points price of approximately 167 to 180 points per night, staying in one of these deluxe villas is not possible without a fairly substantial outlay.
Here is my review of the Walt Disney World Polynesian Village Resort Bora Bora Bungalows after our stay in July 2016.
The Bora Bora Bungalows Managed to Exceed My High Expectations
Staying in one of these units actually surpassed my already high expectations. First of all, you feel pretty special approaching the bungalows for the first time because you need to use your Magic Band (or room card) even to gain access to the boardwalk that leads up to each unit. We stayed in bungalow 7002, which is the second unit closest to the Polynesian Resort boat launch — exactly where we wanted to be.
Each bungalow has a covered front porch area with a padded bench out front. There is a door chime so that guests can ring you from the outside — a nice touch (I recorded each of the six chimes to turn into ring tones and apparently they change the chimes from time to time throughout the year). Once inside the bungalow it becomes clear that Disney spared little expense in appointing the units with high-end fixtures and finishes. From the jet tub in the master bathroom to the GE Monogram stainless steel appliances in the full-size kitchen, the bungalows are very much in line with a high-end condominium located anywhere else.
The decor of the bungalows is also very well done. In my opinion, Disney Imagineers managed to achieve a wood-inspired tropical island feel while at the same time giving the bungalows a contemporary and modern edge. This includes such things as the digital touch screens that control the lighting throughout the bungalow. They look a little daunting at first, but you get the hang of the system fairly quickly.
The Bora Bora Bungalows are Loaded with High-End Features and Upscale Appointments
When you first enter a Bora Bora Bungalow you will find a hall table by the front door. The two ample-sized bedrooms come next and are pretty much across the hall from one another.
The master bedroom features a very comfortable king size bed, along with a massive TV screen and plenty of closet and storage space. There is also a ceiling fan that adds to the island feel of the bungalow. The master ensuite bathroom affords full luxuries, from the double under mount sinks and granite counter tops, to the separate jet tub, massive shower with rain head and separate water closet with toilet (and a door for privacy). There is also a door from the master bedroom that leads to the side deck area outside.
Across the hall is the second bedroom. This bedroom features a queen bed and a murphy bed, enough to sleep three comfortably. There is plenty of storage in here as well and a large flat screen TV on the wall. A ceiling fan completes the scene, similar to the master bedroom. This room features a window bench under the window that overlooks the front of the bungalow, which actually looks back towards the main part of Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort.
The main hallway extends right into the kitchen with what appears to be very high-end laminate wood flooring. Before you reach the family room and kitchen, however, you pass the second bathroom area. This is a hallway off of the main hall and features a separate water closet with toilet (including a sink and mirror) and another room with a sink and mirror, plus a separate shower tub. There is also a utility closet in this hallway with a digital security safe, dustpan and other cleaning essentials. Finally, this area also houses a stackable washer and dryer, making it easy and convenient to do any laundry that you may need to do while staying here.
Continuing on down the hallway you enter the back area of the bungalow. This a huge open space with a vaulted ceiling that overlooks the outside deck and Seven Seas Lagoon. It is pretty spectacular walking into this area — especially the very first time. It is sure to impress even the harshest of critics.
The kitchen is fairly large and is a fully featured room with full-size stainless steel appliances. This includes a refrigerator, dishwasher, built-in range and microwave. There is a coffee maker, toaster and a full complement of pots, pans, cooking ware, utensils and more. Feel free to come with a full load of groceries when staying here. The large kitchen table seats eight comfortably.
The kitchen opens to a large family room area with a big flat-screen TV mounted on the wall. There is a murphy bed under the TV and pullout couch that sleeps two. There are two chairs and a couple of end tables plus a coffee table. This area of the unit is carpeted.
The Back Deck of the Bora Bora Bungalows is Where the Magic Really Comes to Life
The entire back wall of the bungalow is glass to allow you to fully enjoy the spectacular views out to Seven Seas Lagoon. There is a sliding door from the kitchen that gives you access to the wraparound deck at the back and one side of the bungalow. If you are like us, you will want to spend a lot of time outside on this awesome deck area.
Below is a short video I took of the deck area of the bungalow.
The deck itself is made of upscale composite decking and it does get hot on bare feet in the summer sun. On one end of the back deck is the plunge pool. The plunge pool is fenced off to provide protection for little ones and is not heated. However, the water temperature is ideal and refreshing (even in the scorching summer sun) and it seemed like a saltwater system (no overpowering chlorine feel, which is nice). I didn’t measure the pool, but it appeared to be around four feet by eight feet in size. It is three feet deep. We got a lot of use out of the plunge pool and our eight-year-old absolutely loved it. It’s pretty relaxing to sit in the pool with a cold beverage of choice and look out over Seven Seas Lagoon. Next to the pool is an outdoor shower area, which is a nice little bonus.
One of our only complaints about the Bora Bora Bungalow and possibly the only obvious design flaw has to do with the tile border around the plunge pool. These small tiles get searing hot in the sun so you cannot sit in the pool and rest your arms on the side if the sun has been beating down. You will get scorched. The same goes for standing on them, so bear this in mind. It might be better in the cooler months, but beware during the hot Florida summer sun.
The rest of the deck area features a four-seat bistro table, two loungers with padded cushions and two hanging wicker swings/chairs located around the side of the deck and next to the master bedroom door. The deck railing has balusters made to look like bamboo. The view from our Bora Bora Bungalow was incredible. Watching the Electrical Water Pageant and the fireworks from the Magic Kingdom are ideal from your bungalow deck.
Another feature of this outdoor space is that there are two outdoor speakers with a volume control knob so that you can hear the soundtrack to Happily Ever After (fireworks) from your deck, adjusted to your volume level of choice. However, our speakers only worked on the first night of our stay. After that we got only static from the speakers. We reported this twice to hotel management, but it was not fixed during our stay. Considering the cost of these units, that was a disappointment. Finally, the back deck also features a phone in a protective case so that you can make calls from outside if you so desire. There is also an electrical outlet beneath the phone box.
To help you visualize the Bora Bora Bungalows, I created a very quick three-minute video tour to give you a sense of the layout.
Disney’s Bora Bora Bungalows offer Privacy, Comfort and Incredible Views
The Bora Bora Bungalows are relatively close to one another, but they are just far enough apart that you don’t feel cluttered or that you lack any privacy. They are also offset from one another so that the outdoor decks are not all in a row beside each other.
All in all the Bora Bora Bungalows at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort are pretty spectacular in their own right. In my opinion, Disney did a great job with the design and execution of these units and we have now been officially spoiled after having stayed in one.
Are Disney’s Bora Bora Bungalows worth thousands of dollars per night? Who’s to say, as value is very subjective. I will say that the bungalows sure left me wishing and wanting to get even more DVC points so that we could stay in these accommodations more often! There isn’t much not to like about the Polynesian Bungalows and there’s a whole lot to love about them. You may just find — as we did — that you’ll want to spend more time in your room and less time in the parks when you stay in a Polynesian Resort Bora Bora Bungalow.
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Mike Belobradic: The Finer Side of Disney Travel
Luxury Travel Blogger – Deluxe Disney Travel Specialist
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